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Japan’s great toilet mystery is about to be solved

Japan’s great toilet mystery is about to be solved

The first time I visited Japan, I knew what I really wanted to try first. Not the sushi, though that turned out to be superb, or the bullet train. No, my boyish excitement was all about the magical robotic toilets. For a button-loving geek who has long thought that the bathroom should have more unexpected warm water surprises, Japan's clever bidets or "washlets" are the Holy Grail.

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Xiaomi 4 Prime vs Redmi Note 4: 5 reasons why this is war

Xiaomi 4 Prime vs Redmi Note 4: 5 reasons why this is war

It's time to do a duel between two of Xiaomi's most popular "Note" devices - the Note 4 and the Note 3 - and toss in the new Xiaomi 4 Prime for good measure. This battle will be based on specifications, only - we'll have to get the whole collection in our hands at once before we're able to do any face-to-face comparisons. For now we'll go ahead and assume that more advanced processors mean bigger power and that all three devices are equally reliable.

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Microsoft puts Cortana on Android lockscreens

Microsoft puts Cortana on Android lockscreens

Microsoft is looking to put Cortana front and center on Android, as a new update will add the AI assistant to your lockscreen. The update is currently in beta, so while it isn't available to all users yet, it should be arriving sometime in the next few weeks. Of course, if you're a beta tester for the Cortana app, you can get this extra functionality right now, but everyone else will have to wait.

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5 Mid-Size SUVs under $40,000 to watch out for in 2017

5 Mid-Size SUVs under $40,000 to watch out for in 2017

Mid-size SUVs are the 'next step' in almost every family's automotive evolution. With enough room to handle a growing brood - especially when trying to fit lanky teenagers in the back seat - along with the kind of cargo space that lets you haul all of your gear at the same time, mid-size sport-utility vehicles are versatile and in many cases surprisingly affordable additions to any driveway.

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Android Nougat update underway for Xperia Z5 line, Xperia Z3 Plus

Android Nougat update underway for Xperia Z5 line, Xperia Z3 Plus

Slowly but surely, Sony has been knocking out its Android Nougat updates. What began with the Xperia XZ and X Performance has now moved on to the Z5 family and the Xperia Z3 Plus. Sony has started the Nougat roll out to those phones, so if you don't see an OTA notification yet, you may want to manually check for updates.

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ZTE Blade V8 Pro premium features, budget price now available

ZTE Blade V8 Pro premium features, budget price now available

At CES 2017, ZTE made two big splashes. First was the formal unveiling of the ZTE Hawkeye, it’s self-adhesive eye-tracking smartphone born out of an unorthodox crowdsourcing campaign. While its crowdfunding phase might be in a bit of trouble, ZTE’s second reveal might have better luck. It has, true to rumors, brought its Blade smartphone line to the US, starting with the ZTE Blade V8 Pro. The mid-range Android device flaunts flagship-level features at an unbeatable price and can now be yours if you so wish.

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Android One phones could be coming to the US

Android One phones could be coming to the US

Just when you thought Google was done with its different Android brands and settling on a single, premium Pixel, this rumor comes along. According the quintessential people familiar with the matter, the Android maker is actually planning to increase its US smartphone presence from two to three. In addition to the existing but seemingly endangered Nexus and the fledgling Pixel, Google is now said to be planning on bringing its budget class Android One line to the US as well, increasing the likelihood of confusion but also of potential profits.

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Intel Compute Card will power NexDock’s next “thin” laptop

Intel Compute Card will power NexDock’s next “thin” laptop

At CES 2017 earlier this month, Intel unveiled something new yet something also familiar, a nearly complete computer board just a little larger than a credit card. Intel wants its new Compute Card to be the dockable brain of future devices, including smart appliances. NexDock, the people behind a more or less successful crowdfunded device of the same name, is taking that brain and putting it inside its next ambitious project, which, unsurprisingly, is another NexDock.

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Microsoft to get its own ebook store in Windows 10 update

Microsoft to get its own ebook store in Windows 10 update

Microsoft has almost matched its platform rivals Google and Apple in most digital content save for one. While it already does apps, games, videos, and music, it so far hasn’t done digital books yet. That, however, will be changing in the upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update. Spotted in an internal build for Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft seem to be preparing its own built-in ebook store to complete its digital selection and give Windows 10 users a new way of consuming and buying content without having to resort to Android or iOS platforms.

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LG Aristo on T-Mobile, MetroPCS offer bang, style for buck

LG Aristo on T-Mobile, MetroPCS offer bang, style for buck

Buying a smartphone, more often than not, involves a series of compromises, usually between price, feature, and design. Lately, however, design has stopped being an issue, with even the most wallet-friendly models sporting better-looking bodies. Take for example the LG Aristo, now available on T-Mobile and MetroPCS, which is, through and through, a lower mid-range smartphone, but one that you won’t be embarrassed to hold in public.

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Google Search will no longer be fazed by spotty Internet

Google Search will no longer be fazed by spotty Internet

For all the power we hold in our hands thanks to our smartphones, we are, most of the time, at the mercy of our invisible, intangible Internet connections. As much as we wished the Internet was really everywhere, there are just times and places where even the bravest of radio signals can’t reach. And sometimes, that happens when we need it the most, like Googling for that oh so critical trivia. Never fear, because the Google Search Android app will no longer forget what you asked it and will get back to you as soon as the reception clears.

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Google+ is not dead, Classic look will soon be

Google+ is not dead, Classic look will soon be

Reports of Google+’s death are largely exaggerated, despite how some might want it to be. At least, that is definitely the vibe that Google is giving off by announcing a somewhat major refresh to its social network turned community platform. The new Google+ will make smarter use of space by hiding “low-quality” comments and taking advantage of huge, hi-res photos. Google is also bringing back Events functionality to the platform but is also on the verge of saying farewell to a classic look.

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